The Dream Star's Corner

Dare to Dream...and DO!
walk. run. fly.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another half marathon...and maybe a duathlon?

For somebody who is injured, I am so sure of myself. So sure, that I registered for the Rock n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon!

Yep! It's scheduled for September 16th and I kinda registered on a whim. I was perusing Facebook and somehow lingered onto the Rock n Roll Marathon fan page (are they still called fan pages?) and read that they were having a Leap Day sale. They offered $29 off of any race (excluding Las Vegas, New York, and races in Europe) for the next 2 hours and 9 minutes. So the sale ended 10:09 a.m. PST or 1:09 EST. Last night, I was looking at the list and thinking about signing up for a full marathon just in case things fell apart for NYC. I shut down the browser without ever deciding or temporarily deciding on a location. Then when I saw this deal online, I figured it couldn't hurt to pick something nearby so I chose Philly!

After some bad race experiences in the past, I did do a little research before officially signing up. I did a little google search for race reviews and didn't see anything all that bad about the race so I signed up. Can't beat a half marathon for $56!

This baby will be mine!


I've also been thinking about doing a duathlon. I found one in Westminster that seems simple enough... but due to it being in July, I may have to do some heat training to make sure I don't die. We'll see if I choose to do the du'... HA...*snort*...HAHAHA...I crack myself up. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Walker on the loose! :D

Just got back from my doctor's appointment and I have great news. I had a 3-week follow up appointment with my sports medicine doctor today and he said I'm healing AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!!!! GO ME!

I have no pain and everything on my x-rays looked good. I felt brave enough to ask him for this thoughts on me walking the Rock and Roll DC half marathon since I can't run the full marathon or run the half and he said that was alright with him. He suggested that I start walking a couple 4-milers in about a week then walk a 10-miler the week before the race to a) see how it feels and b) really decide if I can mentally withstand walking for 13 miles.

If I can run and play the air guitar on a 17 miler in 20 degree weather, I highly doubt I will have a problem maintaining a 15:00 min/mi pace for 3 hrs. Apparently he doesn't know how many times I thought "this wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to run it" while on a long run. lol

So yes folks, this is all good news. I can get back to running and training in 4 weeks and that's okay with me. I already know I can cancel out any idea of meeting a time goal for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler and that's okay. I feel much better going into all of my future races with so much more awareness.

I now know why they say only 1% of the population finishes a marathon. I used to think the other 99% were just lazy but no...sometimes some people just don't make it to the start line due to life, injury, or other reasons. This injury has opened my eyes. I had tunnel vision before. I thought that if you wanted to accomplish a running goal, all you had to do was run. That's true for some but it's not the formula for all. I have the will of Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher but I most certainly don't have the physical make up of either one of these marathon greats and that's okay.

I will make it to a marathon, but I have to train in a way that works for me. Deep deep down inside, I knew that running 4 times/wk was a lot for me but I ignored it and kept going. For my next training cycle, I will take a more balanced approach, using aqua jogging, swimming, and biking with hill intervals to help me train for my marathon. It's what I have to do to make it to the start line. Honestly, that's my only goal this year. Sure, I'll show up and do my best with the races I'm already registered for, but it's the full marathon I'm still focused on. But I can go forward with a renewed focus and some wisdom to rely on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Crazy talk

The biggest lesson I learned while NOT running is to listen to my body. I say it. People say it. I read it. People write it. BUT I never really acknowledged it until now.

I've been searching for the right answer pertaining to how far to run, what I should be feeling, when I can start running, etc...but in the end, all I can do is listen to my body...


...and my body is telling me to show up on March 17th at the half marathon start line. We'll see if that changes after my 3 week check up on Monday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Are they mocking me??!

When you're injured it feels like the world is mocking you. Everywhere I turn, I see 10 times as many people running down that road that I used to run on or I feel like I'm surrounded by cars on the highway all sporting that 26.2 sticker. When I refresh my tweets, it seems that everyone is excited to get through a great run with no pain or to get outside on an extraordinarily warm day to get in some miles and even a little extra to top it off!

Inside, I'm screaming and crying, pulling my hair out in a sweaty tantrum...but it's not jealousy. It's more of a panic, like I'm missing they're leaving me behind. :(

I miss running.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Runner's Random Thoughts!

I'm supposed to be washing the dishes but I can't move. I have SO MANY random thoughts floating through my head and I just wanted to jot them down:

1. If I am released to run on March 17th, where do I begin with training for my spring races? Should I start with a 2 to 3 mile run during the week with a hopeful long run of 7 miles on March 24th?

2. Will 3 weeks be enough to adequately help me cross the finish line for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler?

3. Will I be able to finish with any resemblance of a respectable time for ANY of these races?

4. Should I register for some 5ks to help me build my pacing and to help me rebuild my confidence?

5. Did my confidence go anywhere? Will I know once I lace up my running shoes?

6. Should I just dedicate this year to conditioning and building my base for triathlons? That would be a crappy way to move on from running, wouldn't it?

7. Who said I had to move on from running?

8. What if I like biking or swimming more? Then what?

9. Should I make a list of other marathons to consider running just in case NY doesn't work out? Does it have to be a marathon of notoriety?

10. Why do injuries make you question everything? Is this normal? Maybe I'm obsessing.


Officially registered!

I registered for YMCA membership and swimming classes today! I originally planned to register for the classes only BUT the minor task of online registration proved too difficult for me to understand. So after frantically calling the YMCA about a dozen times in the last 3 days to try to get some answers about registering online, I decided to just pay the local Y a visit to register in person.

I went to drop off my registration form and the lovely people at the membership services desk did a fine job at selling me on a full membership. I DO plan to take the follow on swim instruction classes once I master the art of flutter kicking and floating so why not sign up for the whole shabang?! And apparently Isajeep wants to go I figured it was a good idea to get a family membership.

So it's officially official! March 3rd is the day that I enter the pool a mere mortal and exit one step closer to becoming a mermaid! :) Or a tridoll...whichever comes first.

I also took the time to finally register for the Frederick Half Marathon and the Baltimore Half Marathon (more appropriately known as the "Maryland Double").

I will get a really nice 3rd medal once all of the running is said and done to commemorate my noble challenge.


(Please excuse all of the "mortal" and "noble" speak. I just finished watching an episode of Spartacus and after seeing all of the politicians conspiring at one of their freaky parties, I guess I picked up some of the lingo along the way)

So it's settled.... the race calendar is about 85% complete. The only goal left to fulfill in 2012 is to register AND RUN a full marathon... I'm still sad about the RnR DC Full Marathon but I must move on.

My foot is feeling better...well, there's still some pain when I've done a significant amount of walking in a day, BUT I don't wince in pain as much as I used to upon pressing on the metatarsals. I guess that's a good sign. Two weeks down...four more to go.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Marathon Training Makes a Difference

I never made it a habit to take a bunch of photos of myself before a workout, or during one. But the day that I started my marathon training, I felt compelled to take a photo.

Me. Oblivious to the disappointment looming in the near but distant future.

I had no idea that this act would represent an omen for the demise of my training along with purchasing my new "26.2" sticker...

I try not to think that I jinxed myself by putting so much effort and thought into my training. But sometimes I think that I set myself up for disappointment by not acknowledging the reality that there was some small chance that I would never make it to the start line. One of the first comments on my 'announcement' on Dailymile was "sometimes things don't end up the way we want it to with running." At the time, I thought it was pointless to say such a thing. I didn't feel one way or the other about it though. I was emotionally drawn to all of the outpouring of sympathy from everyone else but this one comment lingered in the back of my mind for me to deal with once the scab formed over my hurt pride.

Well now the day has come for me to mature a little bit and move beyond thinking that the only 2 knowns in marathon training are 1) you get a new shiny medal and 2) you might lose a little weight and tone up a bit.

Obligatory "last run of my failed training" photo

I now know that nothing is promised. If it's in God's will and if you train hard, you will accomplish your goal. I think I forgot to acknowledge that first part though. I guess it was God's turn to put the brakes on this until I remembered who is in charge. Sometimes things don't end up the way we want it to... period. I thought that being an athlete was the only thing in my life that I could control. It was my safe place. I train. I accomplish my goal. Rinse and repeat. But it's not that simple. It's like I had to sit down (literally) and realize that things change. Deal with it. No matter what you're working on...things change. Trust God and move on.

And so that's what I'm doing. I think in some subconscious way, I always knew I could never really train for an extreme endurance activity like running a full marathon by just...running. But I never wanted to stop to see if biking and swimming would help me get there. I just wanted to do things the way that everyone else did it. I'm now accepting that I may have to go a different way, God's way, to get to the finish line. I'll take it. He knows what's best.

YAY! I got my swimming gear!!! :D

As mentioned before, I am searching for some healthy distractions from my injury and the fact that I'm not running. So in a neurotic panic of anxiety frenzy of excitement I ordered some swimming gear from Swim Outlet as recommended by my "tridoll" friends on the twittah.

My goodies have arrived, ya'll! :D

And like any obsessed athlete, I tried on EVERYTHING immediately.

Which way to the pool??!?

Well, there was always a lingering question of whether my swimsuit would actually fit correctly. In the midst of my panicked neurotic spells, I tend to believe I need whatever my poor anxious mind is obsessing over at that very moment and not a second too late. So after discussing body types with some of my "triathlete/swimming" buddies and giving the girl on the other end of the phone at the Swim Outlet WAY too much information about my 'girls' and my hips than I think she ever cared to know, I ended up settling on a size 36 in the Speedo Solid Endurance Super Proback swimsuit. Thankfully it fit perfectly.

Registration for swim lessons at the local YMCA opens up to non-members next week. OMGcantWAIT!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Went from being trigger happy to gun shy

I used to be that person poised at the keyboard, credit card in hand, registering for whatever race announcement popped up in my email inbox. The only criteria was an empty box on the calendar. If I was free, I was in and running a race. That's it!

But since the injury, my mental confidence is a little shaken. I see races that I would've signed up for without question but now all I can think is "well, would I even finish?" "what about the injury? I probably won't be in great shape to even finish with a decent time... I'll probably end up dragging myself across the finish line for all of the other races I'm already signed up for."

I don't know how to shake myself from this thinking. It's hard to believe in yourself when you can't do something to prove it to yourself like go outside and just run 8 miles on a Tuesday afternoon. I definitely feel much stronger than before through biking and weight training but will the endurance be the same when I lace up again?

I don't feel comfortable signing up for races that leave me with so little certainty of how I will perform. But then again, I was 100% certain that I was running in the marathon and we see how that worked out. I guess you can't really be certain of anything when it comes to running. All I can do is try.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


After one last cry at work, I decided it was time to move on to thinking positive about the next 6 weeks. The support on Dailymile and Twitter has been out of this world! So many people offered their sympathy for my bad news and others offered all kinds of GREAT advice. One person in particular told me what to do so I could ease right back into running again without missing a beat!

Swimming and biking and quality weight training are in my future... uhhh I guess it's my present now. This is how I'm planning to stay in shape for the next 6 weeks. I'm signing up for swim lessons at the local YMCA and biking on the stationary bike until I'm ready to head outside. I haven't swam in 17 years!!!! I'm not afraid of water and I think I can swim if I had to but it wouldn't be pretty...but I'm training to become a "tridoll" (ala @junk1600s and @TriMeOn) so I better learn how to do it right. I'll be the 29 year old with the paddle board :)

I'm saving up for this sweet bike!

'11 Trek 1.2 Compact

But in the meantime, I'm going to go to a big box store and just get a generic cruiser to get used to riding outside again. I haven't rode a bike outside since I was 12 (?) so's been 17 years since I've done that too.

I know my recovery is only for 6 weeks but I'm planning to really do the right thing and incorporate quality cross training into my fitness plan. And how else will I accomplish my future goal of becoming a triathlete? Gotta start from somewhere!

I do miss running. It was hard to take down the reminder of my next race in my cubicle at work.

I like to post the course map to keep me focused on the distance. You probably can't tell because of my crappy camera, but I also wrote my projected finish time on there too! A hopeful 04:30:00...

And it was a hard reality to face that I will not be adding any more bibs to the "Wall of Inspiration" for the next couple of months...

but it is what it is.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

OMG! Running broke up with me! :(

Or at least that's how it feels...

Yesterday, I went to the doctor... I went PREPARED! I had my running shoes, socks, and my training plan. I went into that room as confident as ever thinking EYE knew what the problem was and the doctor was just there to agree. The doctor came in, watched me walk, asked some questions, and then...touched my foot in all the wrong places. I tried to keep a strong and stern face, but he kept touching this one spot that made me wanna cry out in agony. Then he said the word I didn't want to hear, "....blah blah blah XXXXX-RAAAAAAY..." :(

I was so panicked that I sent out a tweet...or an SOS of sorts... some of the @ -replies read...

@PhroYo No. I don't like the sound of this. Run. Run away now.....

@PhroYo no. No, nooooooooo!!!! Tell them its #mearlyafleshwound

My twitter friends must have known that an X-Ray request is ALL bad... I tried not to panic any more and told my little bones to get their act together and smile and look pretty for the picture, damnit! The doctor came back in and asked again, "so...when is that marathon again?" Me: March 17th...

Him: Ok, let's look at the X-rays...

...blah blah blah... callus... fuzzy...around the bone... wonk wonk wonk...YOU WON'T BE RUNNING IN THE need to recover for SIIIIX WEEEEEKS" *cue thunder*

...and then I cried...for 3 hours....straight... like couldn't breathe, couldn't talk cry... it was bad.

It hurts. I put in SO much work... I was SO close... I kept thinking positive. I did everything I was supposed to do and injury still found its way into my life. I didn't know something as mundane as running could really become apart of you until now. You know how much something means to you when it goes away. Damn.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the next steps. I escaped the boot so I don't have to wear one of those, thankfully. I even thought about going to another physician to see if there was a way to tape my foot to get me through the race but everywhere I look, actual runners are saying "I did it and it was stupid. Don't do it." So I guess that's out.

I have so many worries... Will I lose my fitness even if I bike, and take up swimming? If I go back to weight training, will I gain too much muscle mass to carry when I'm ready to start running again? I have a 10-miler on April 2nd. Will I be ready? How much biking should I do? 50 miles per week? 60?

I'm so lost... it's like someone breaking up with you and now you have to learn how to date again. I guess it's time to clean myself up and court another sport or two :(

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NOT Running is making me paranoid

I haven't ran since last Thursday and I'm beginning to hear voices of paranoia. My friends and family don't want me to injure myself any worse than I already have but that didn't stop me from considering a 19-miler last weekend.

But on Friday I went to dinner with my sister who works as a Physician's Assistant at a chiropractor's office. Apparently, the doctor is one of the sports medicine specialists for the RAVENS so she was going to hook me up with an appointment. Over dinner, I told her that I haven't ran in a while but I'm at a crossroads with my training. If I run, I know I have to sit it out afterwards to allow the soreness and swelling to subside. But with all that sitting comes the talk from family and friends telling me I shouldn't have ever ran in the first place. But if I don't run, I move farther and farther away from my goal of running my first marathon.

After 13 weeks of training, you can't just turn it off... after working so hard for 13 weeks, those miles become apart of you. Each long run is a badge of honor and I feel like I'm losing the fight when I sit out another week and miss my long runs. My sister isn't a runner but felt the need to step in and try to help out! She asked me what my symptoms were and right there over our chilean sea bass topped with lump crab meat (omg! that meal was so effing good), she said the words that I wanted to hear...but not really...

"Sounds like bursitis tendonitis to me!"

YAY! Nothing's broken!! But BOOOOOOOOOOO I can't run... or can I? :-/ The question still remained... but her non-doctoral recommendation was to sit out on that 19-miler until I've seen a specialist. She said she would help me get an appointment with her doctor so I was all excited!!

I sent a message to her yesterday asking her for her office number... no response. -.- Well today I plan to run 5 about that specialist... I sent countless messages to her on facebook for the number... no response...

and then the voices started "THEY don't want you to run" "DON'T LISTEN TO THEM! THEY don't know what's best for you but we do!" "Just run on it... that's what ice is for" "Stop being a baby and just run... nothing's broken anyway." "They don't want you to run because THEY don't run... they don't know what it's like... the sweat...the high..." "You only feel tired because you haven't ran enough... and it's THEIR fault!!!" "WHAT IF YOU CAN'T GET TO 20 MILES DURING THE RACE?!??! Then what?!"

I had to snap out of it and take this into my own hands. I was beginning to build a resentment against my sister... thinking her non-response was a conspiracy. I was building a resentment against my boyfriend who fed me cake and chips and salsa BEFORE dinner last night -- cancelling ALL plans to get on the bike and do a weights workout when I got home last night... and my mom, who is a runner (on a good day) but thinks that anything over 5 miles is "TOO much."

I know they love me and they don't want me in pain, but I just gotta know... I need something to hit them with...even if it's a "I talked to the doctor and he said it will hurt but I'm good to go!" kind of response.

And tomorrow I'm seeing a doctor (not my sister's doc/boss but another one)... we'll see what happens...

I just need that peace of mind.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Ok ok ok...I think it's tendonitis!

Well, I think the time has come for me to stop guessing and to actually see a professional. I've skipped yet another long run and I don't know where to go from here. Here's hoping I can snag an appointment soon.

In other news, today is Super Bowl Sunday and even thought my boyfriend and I didn't have a team in the world championship, we still took advantage of the day and made our favorite football goodies. I made chicken quesadillas, and he made his infamous hot wings and pizza.

We ate, I heckled the Patriots and bad-mouthed them... WE should've been there. When I say "WE" I'm referring to the RAVENS. That loss in the AFC Championship game still hurts. Dah well...season is officially over and I have baseball to look forward to. Go O's!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back to Work!

So I got back to the training yesterday! After work, I went by my LRS and spent a good while trying on shoes. First, we redid my gait analysis and holy cow how things have changed. I now need neutral running shoes instead of full stability and yes, as presumed, I am a forefoot striker and no longer a heel striker.

Ok, ok, ok...let's get to the more interesting part. I tried on the Nike Vomero 6, Mizuno Wave Rider, Saucony Triumph 9, Asics Nimbus 13, and the Brooks Ghost 4. After trying each pair out with my Berry Superfeet and without and with the custom orthodic that the store made me right there on the spot, I had a hard decision to make. I settled on the Asics Nimbus 13 because...well, I hated them the least.

I went home and tried them out for a 5-miler and they were okay. Lightweight, pretty responsive on the forefoot landing, and comfortable but I wasn't completely in love with 'em. I slept on it, even posted my findings on Dailymile...but didn't feel 100% about the shoe. I did a little research this morning and grabbed my things at lunchtime and went to the LRS near my office.

After agonizing over MORE choices, I narrowed down today's search to the Brooks Glycerin 8 and the Saucony Triumph 8. I know they are the older versions of these shoes and after discussing it with a runner buddy who gives great shoe reviews, I learned that the latest version of each of these shoes offers a lower drop (from 11~12mm to 8mm) but I'm out to tackle ONE problem at a time here.

So for the price of what I paid for the Asics Nimbus 13 AND those custom orthodics, I walked out with TWO pairs of shoes.


Even though my day job is being a smart and saavy businesswoman, I'm an engineer by trade... and it shows from time to time. So with such an overwhelming problem of finding out which of these 3 shoes will work best between my 2 insoles, I could only break it down like an engineer should...

...with testing and data.

I devised a testing strategy and took notes on my findings... yep, I'm a nerd. :)

Let's face it...sometimes that little 20 second jog between the clothing racks in a running shop just doesn't cut it. I had to put the shoes and the insoles to the test...even if only for 1 mile each. I had to complete a 5-miler anyway so I figured "why not?"

At the end of all of this, I concluded that the Saucony Triumph 8 (for shorter runs < 13 miles) and the Glycerin 8 (for longer runs 13 miles < ) work the best with my Superfeet. According to allll of the shoe reviews, videos, and conversations I've had, they shouldn't be the best shoe for me, but honestly, they just feel right.